U.S. Visa Stamping in the USA – Full Process Explained

The process of obtaining a U.S. visa involves several steps, including visa stamping.

This final process, which is often viewed with a certain sense of dread by applicants, is a crucial part of the journey.

Let’s demystify this process together.

What Is Visa Stamping?

Visa stamping refers to the process where the consulate officer validates your eligibility for the visa by stamping your passport.

This stamp is proof that the holder has gone through the necessary checks and has been granted a visa to enter the U.S. It includes details like the visa type, issue and expiry dates.

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Step-by-Step Process for U.S. Visa Stamping

Here are the steps to get your visa stamped in the USA:

  1. Complete DS-160 Form:
    Fill out the DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application on the U.S. Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center website. Upon submission, you will receive a confirmation page and number.
  2. Pay the Visa Fee:
    Make the visa fee payment. Be sure to keep the receipt of this transaction as it will be needed for the appointment.
  3. Schedule Your Appointments:
    Using the DS-160 confirmation number and the visa fee receipt number, schedule two appointments on the U.S. Embassy’s website. The first is for the Visa Application Center (VAC) to provide biometrics, and the second is for the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  4. Attend the VAC Appointment:
    At the VAC, your fingerprints and photo will be taken. Ensure to carry your DS-160 confirmation page, appointment confirmation page, one recent photograph, and your passport.
  5. Attend the Visa Interview:
    Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the scheduled date and time for the visa interview. Bring all required documents such as your passport, DS-160 confirmation page, appointment confirmation page, visa fee receipt, and any other documents relevant to your visa type.
  6. Visa Stamping:
    If your visa is approved, the consular officer will retain your passport to place the visa stamp. Once stamped, your passport will be returned to you via courier or pick-up.


Q1: What is the validity of my visa stamp?
The validity of your visa stamp is typically the same as the validity of your visa.

Q2: Can I travel to the U.S. if my visa stamp has expired but my visa is still valid?
No, you cannot. An expired visa stamp means you cannot travel to the U.S. until you get the visa re-stamped.

Q3: Can I apply for visa stamping in the U.S.?
Under certain circumstances, third country nationals (TCNs) can apply for visa stamping in the U.S. However, it’s usually recommended to apply in your home country.


This information is accurate as of July 2023. For the most updated details, always refer to the official USCIS website.

We hope this step-by-step guide simplifies the visa stamping process for you.

It’s essential to remember that though the process might seem daunting, like any journey, it can be navigated successfully with the right preparation and information.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.

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